Don’t be fooled – Don’t be a money mule

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24th September 2019
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24th September 2019

Don’t be fooled – Don’t be a money mule

Message from Humberside Police:-

As part of our #FightAgainstFraud campaign we’re raising awareness among students to watch out for criminals trying to recruit them into becoming money mules and supporting the ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ campaign which has been launched by UK Finance and the fraud prevention service Cifas.

The campaign aims to deter students from becoming money mules, by educating them about what the term means, how criminals operate, why they are a target and the consequences of taking part in such schemes.

Money mules are people who allow others to access their bank accounts in exchange for a cut of the criminal funds placed there.

Nationally there has been an increase in cases where young people, low on cash, are being asked to receive and send money through their own bank accounts, sometimes enticing them by allowing them to keep some of the money for themselves.

Figures released by Cifas show there were 5,819 cases of young people aged 14-18 using their bank accounts for money muling in the UK in 2018, a rise of 20% from 2017 (4,849 cases) and 73% from 2016 (3,360 cases).

Detective Sergeant Ben Robinson said “Criminals rely on money mules to launder the profits of their criminal activity. Usually the mules will be completely unaware of where the money comes from, they can be approached online, including via social media sites, or in person.  Sometimes they may be persuaded by friends or peers who are doing it themselves.

“It’s really important that young people are aware of the consequences of agreeing to take part in these types of schemes, if you are caught your bank accounts can be closed, you may end up having problems getting a loan or mortgage, mobile phone contracts and future job prospects can be put into jeopardy if you get a criminal record.

“I would also ask parents, guardians and carers to be aware of this type of fraud and if they have any concerns to contact Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

People often become money mules unwittingly. You might think you’re giving out your bank details for a genuine reason, then end up involved in money mule fraud. There are several things you can do to prevent yourself from falling for this types of scam:

  • Don’t give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.
  • Be wary of job offers where all interactions and transactions will be done online.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited offers of easy money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Research any company that makes you a job offer and make sure their contact details are genuine.
  • Be wary of job offers from overseas. It will make it harder for you to find out if they are legitimate.
  • Be wary of job ads that are written in poor English with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at

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